Can friendships survive marriages?
I’ve been asking myself this question since tying the knot and am still trying to figure out the answer. Now, I don’t mean your friendship with your significant other. If that doesn’t survive, you can pretty much kiss those wedding vows goodbye. What I am referring to are the friendships you had with your girlfriends before you got married.
You have entered into a new life, one where you are legally committed to another person, someone with whom you spend all your time, make all your decisions and celebrate all your big days. So where do your friendships go, when they used to be the solid unmoving rock in your life to commemorate all these special occasions?
What I’ve noticed is that once you are married, your relationships with your unmarried friends slightly change. I say this regrettably, because I had no idea it would happen, and I have been bothered by it to the point of obsessing over it (just a little). Is it because you have more in common with other people who are married? How could that just change overnight? Is there some unwritten rule that married people only hang out with other married people? Or is it less about the subconscious actions of the married couple and more about the subconscious actions of the single person?
I have been analyzing this ever since one of my single friends, who was in my wedding, seemed to back off of our friendship a little as soon as I said “I do.” I know she is sensitive to the fact that she isn’t married yet, which I understand, but I didn’t expect anything to change between us. Does that make me insensitive? It seems as though she would rather surround herself with other single people, people who understand where she is in this stage of her life, and people she can relate to. I suppose this makes sense, but it doesn’t change the fact that it bothers me. Yes, I may be married, but it’s basically the same as it was when Marsh and I were just dating. The only difference is that now we have it on paper.
So it has become somewhat of a mission of mine to get to the bottom of this. I can’t be the only person who feels this way – at least I hope I’m not. And I know I should just sit down and talk with her about it, but I tend to avoid awkward moments and any type of confrontation at all times.
I suppose I might feel the same way if I were in her shoes, which is why I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. But I want her to know that just because I am married now, it doesn’t change me or my feelings about our friendship. In fact, I would like to think it should bring us closer, having shared in a major milestone together. I would hope she knows it doesn’t change the fact that I am there for her, no matter what, husband or not. Because if there is one thing I know about true-blue girlfriends, it’s that nothing will come between the solid connection they’ve spent so long building and sharing with each other.